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Sip ’N Dip Lounge announces new resident musician

Joel Corda
Mermaid at the Sip 'N Dip in Great Falls
Sip 'N Dip Lounge in Great Falls
Sip ’N Dip Lounge at the O’Haire Motor Inn
Posted at 9:59 PM, Oct 06, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-07 00:24:10-04

GREAT FALLS — On Wednesday night, the Sip ’N’ Dip Lounge in Great Falls chose a winner in its music bar contest - filling the seat left vacant by the iconic "Piano Pat," who passed away earlier this year.

After two nights of performance from the five finalists, Great Falls musician Joel Corda was selected by the judges to be the next musical act at the world-famous lounge.

Judges praised his voice, crowd interaction, and musical choice.

For Corda, who grew up idolizing Piano Pat, being named the next performer at the Sip is a dream come true and not a chair he takes lightly.

Joel Corda

“I think at least every half hour you have to have a 'Pat’s greatest hits,'” Corda said. “It’s the house that Pat built. And mermaids, too, obviously. I’m not trying to disparage the works of the other people who make this place great, but we talk about Piano Pat. That’s what it is.”

Corda’s first official performance as the resident musical act will be Friday night.

The other four finalists were Eric Lowell Bartz, Lyle Sheets, Melissa Smith, and Johnny Ritchie. You can watch all of the audition performances by clicking here.

(SEPTEMBER 2, 2021) The Sip 'N Dip lounge in Great Falls launched a contest in July to find a new musical performer. The lounge is known for its tiki theme and "mermaids" swimming in the pool behind the bar - and of course, "Piano Pat."

Pat Sponheim, the iconic entertainer who passed away in May, had been behind the keyboard belting out favorites at the Sip 'N Dip since 1963. Pat was one of the reasons that the Sip 'N Dip was named by GQ magazine in 2003 as the "#1 bar on earth worth flying for" - coupled with the near-equally iconic mermaids behind the bar.

This week, the Sip 'N Dip Lounge announced the five finalists for their music bar competition.

The five finalists are Joel Corda, Lyle Sheets, Melissa Smith, Johnny Ritchie, and Eric Lowell Bartz - all Great Falls residents.

The finalists will perform in front of the judges; panel on October 5th and 6th, and the winner will perform live for the first time on October 8th.

You can find all the finalists' bios and audition videos on the the Sip 'N Dip website.

Remembering the iconic "Piano Pat"